313 Cyclographs

Cyclograph drawing 4 detail

(May to December 2021)

Drawings inside a lever arch folder, and data


While accounting for the things I hoard in my attic I found a lever arch folder containing a stack of blank, fading, loose A4 ruled paper and an old broken cyclograph belonging to my brother.

I fixed the little broken arms of the cyclograph and brought it back to life.

I decided to combine these two finds to create a set of drawings.

The thinking was:

  • Use the paper
  • Use the mended cyclograph even if I’ve bought a new one since.
  • Use up my felt tips and drawing materials – mix them up, cheap/expensive, felt tip, pencil, coloured pencil, highlighter, permanent marker.

The emergent rules became:

  • Don’t repeat colours
  • Don’t repeat cyclograph holes
  • Choose the drawing material at random – I regularly break this rule
  • All the lines have to connect – no free floaters
  • If a hole breaks don’t use the new cyclograph to fill in
  • Once dated it can’t be added to

To my relief, unlike 900 Self Portraits Nr. XXX, this is a finite series as there are only 313 sheets although I can envisage this carrying on if I find some old A4 sheets, ruled or otherwise. I’ll be sorry when this is finished.

Again, this is about making purposely ugly work. And the dilemma that in some cases it turns out beautiful. See 900 Self Portraits Nr. XXX for some of the thinking on working in series and making ugly work.

Again (see 900 Self Portraits Nr. XXX), I started collecting data:

Start date: 6 May 2021

One quarter reached: 2 October 2021 (day 11)

One third reached: 3 October 2021 (day 12)

Half reached: 21 October 2021 (day 15)

Two thirds reached: 1 November 2021 (day 18)

Completed: 20 December 2021 (day 26)

Days of making: 26 days

Number made: 313

Area: 19.52 sqm

Mean: (average) number of items made in a day to date: 12.04

Mode: 3 with 3 instances; 6 times

Median: 8; has ranged between 1 and 8 (i.e. the range of the median)

Range: 39

Most productive day: 3 October 2021 (40)

My date stamp and number stamp have become a feature of these series and became part of the rules process.

Because the paper and drawing materials are not archival these will yellow and fade in time.

I’m thinking about how to display them. As a column of stacked sheets inside the lever arch file? As a surface area? As individually framed objects?

You can view a selection of the 313 cyclographs in my google drive.


Materials and tools: various household mark-making implements (pencil, biro, felt tip, coloured pencil), cyclograph, A4 ruled paper, A4 lever arch file.

Size: each drawing is A4; as an object it is 28cm x 35cm x 9cm when closed.

Backing board showing drawings that have gone off the page
Backing board for protection

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com